Olympic Bingo’s ‘Aloof’ album is an underground gem. For lovers of retro sounds with a jazz and electronica vibe, it could turn out to be one of those rare finds. There’s plenty within its stand out track ‘Things To Do Today’, for example, that has the ability to cast the listener back a couple of decades…and sometimes farther still.
That track’s opening bars are straight from the downtempo world of Zero 7, yet Olympic Bingo’s sound is by no means a straight copy. As the track unwinds with its blankets of sound and slow beats, the music seems grander – certainly bigger – than most things to which it could be easily compared. You might hear moments calling back to Royksopp and other melodic chill out recordings, but you certainly wouldn’t be expecting a shift into jazz fusion on that all important first listen. Olympic Bingo’s fusion can turn on a sixpence, yet always feels natural.
Elsewhere on the album you’ll discover French spoken word passages set against a slow and funky groove (‘Le Plage L’etranger’) and Latin grooves driven by soft keys and acoustic guitars (the self explanatory ‘Tropicalismo’). Every mood is different from the one before, yet every one is as captivating from an instrumental standpoint, and most importantly, everything works together creating a musical journey.
The current single, ‘Clouds’, features a vocal performance from Clara Walsh, and her quiet tones might make you think of Morcheeba, especially with the slow grooves underlying a strong melody, but again, there’s more going on here than first meets the ear. Warm basslines wrap around the basic melody, giving a huge boost, but its the orchestrated synths fleshing out the second half of the number that give it strength. Despite a DIY heart, this is music that sounds anything but cheap, and for those willing to explore further, ‘Aloof’ will certainly present all manner of kitschy and wondrous sounds.
The album could be the missing link between Saint Etienne, Royksopp, the trip hop movement, Bebel Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim,
Check out the video for ‘Clouds’ below. The full album can be streamed/purchased here: https://paperrockscissors.bandcamp.com/album/aloof